2015 Surf Club Open Day. How to Guide

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1 2015 Surf Club Open Day. How to Guide

2 Surf Life Saving NSW Surf Club Open Day 18 October 2015 Your Guide to Running a Successful Open Day Open days can be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your Surf Life Saving Club, develop relationships with your local community and recruit new members. Welcome to the 2015 Surf Club Open Day How to Guide! This guide will be a key resource for you and your club when organising your Open Day. It features hints and tips, supporting you as you plan, deliver and evaluate your event. This document will walk you through the open day in four easy steps: 1. Plan and prepare for the open day 2. Market your event 3. Deliver a successful event 4. Follow-up and evaluate Surf Life Saving NSW would like to congratulate you and your club for getting involved in this event. Your Surf Club Open Day will be a great opportunity to showcase the amazing effort and work that is performed year after year by your club members to keep our beaches safe. We wish you all the best with your Surf Club Open Day and remind you that the Member Services team at SLSNSW are available to work with you and assist you throughout the process. Surf Club Open Day Overview The purpose of the Surf Club Open Day is to give clubs the opportunity to open their doors to the public and promote surf lifesaving within their community. This day will showcase the activities that take place within your local surf life saving club, and ways that members of the public can give, get involved and be safe with Surf Life Saving. The Surf Club Open Day will be held in Surf Clubs throughout NSW to create a more coordinated approach in publicising the event, whilst achieving greater media attention. SLSNSW will work to coordinate the state media activities leading up to the event and will provide clubs with the information and resources to ensure that clubs are supported throughout the process. Surf Club Open Day Resources There are a number of resources available to help you promote your event and engage with people who attend on the day. These include digital resources which are available on the SLSNSW website, or physical resources which will be posted to clubs prior to the event. Digital resources: Recruitment and Retention Guide Key Media Messages Media Release template Print advertising templates Website parts banner

3 Social media templates Thank you letter templates Membership form Physical resources: Posters and Flyers Expression of Interest forms Give-aways: Drink bottles, tote bags and pens Step One: Plan And Prepare Take time early on to think about how you will prepare for your open day. Get others involved Recruit a small working party and hold a planning meeting ahead of the event. Develop and agree on the plan for the open day and delegate who will be in charge of each task in the lead up to the day, and also on the day itself. Source sponsorship or support for the event Source local sponsorship for food, prizes and general funding for the day. Identify ways that a sponsor could be promoted during the event, and utilise this to sell the concept to potential businesses in your area. Identify your target audience Our main priority is finding members who can take on the varied roles within our clubs from committee members, to coaches, to patrolling members, and more. Identify which roles you most need filled, and identify potential sources of people with these skills. For example, need more trainers, why not promote the open day through your local University or TAFE to their education students. Develop a format for your open day Make sure you decide in advance what activities will occur on the day, including how long they will last, how they will be planned, when they will happen and who will lead them. Formats will vary according to your club s size, equipment, availability of members and what other activities are happening. Remember, atmosphere is everything so make sure you have a wide range of activities that attracts people of all ages and interests. Example activities could include: Team Battles A tournament for all ages and abilities! Get some teams together and compete in range of Surf Life Saving activities for the chance to win a prize. Water Activities Some suggested examples could include: Mock water rescues. RWC / Jet Boat / Helicopter / IRB / Jet Ski Demonstrations. Identify rips using water dye.

4 Beach Activities Some suggested examples could include: Demonstrate first aid scenarios what to do if stung by a bluebottle, CPR on dummies etc. Clubhouse tours. Put the ATV s, tractors, sirens and radios on display. Run through a typical day on patrol. Wet Weather Consider wet weather plans just in case! Examples Include: Utilise your club house for activities such as first aid live demonstrations. Ensure there is an undercover area for the BBQ. Place posters and club clothing on the walls inside the club house. Info desk Bronze, SRC, Water Safety Messages, different courses that people can undertake. Meet key personnel (if available) Club Captain, Presidents, etc. Showcase club equipment / club history. Uniform dress ups. Fundraising Fundraising is essential for non for Profit companies but sometimes needs a bit of thinking outside the box to generate the desired results. Every Surf Life Saving Club has different fundraising needs and goals, such as covering expenditure to carry out day to day duties on the beach or working towards specific project you might be running. Some suggested examples include: BBQ / Tea and Coffee Stall. Special Event Swim (special event application will need to be completed). Fetes and Market Stalls. Fundraising / Raffles. Sell SLS or club merchandise. Prepare your crowd control measures Here are some reminders about dealing with crowds and tips for keeping people safe and happy: Involve all members in the event preparations so they know exactly what the day will look like; Have a group discussion to go through any possible problem scenarios and how these will be dealt with; and Try to stagger the activities for a steady flow of visitors over the day. Manage Event Risks As the organiser, you have a duty of care towards the people who come to your event both SLS members and members of the public. Your current Club insurance covers the following activities: Club house tours can be conducted with members of the public; First aid demonstrations such as CPR can be conducted and members of public are able to get involved; Members of the public can interact with particular Surf Life Saving (SLS) equipment such as

5 IRB s and ATV s ONLY when such equipment is off (static) and the equipment is monitored by a qualified/financial club member at ALL times; IRB, ATV, paddle boards and other SLS equipment can be demonstrated to members of the public ONLY by qualified/financial club members members of the public are NOT to participate in any activities that use SLS equipment; BBQ s; and SLS non-water activities such as flags and beach sprints are able to be conducted with members of the public however we urge clubs to exercise caution at ALL times and to review the activities if participants are getting a little too competitive. Your current Club insurance will NOT cover your Club if you partake in the following activities: Members of the public are NOT allowed to take part in the demonstration of SLS equipment; and Members of the public must NOT partake in any activities that involves entering the water. Extra Notes Please also consider Work Health & Safety (WH&S) practices when you conduct your Surf Club Open Day. Ensure all potential risks are addressed and safe practices are put into place. A risk assessment should be considered. Please note that for this particular event a Special Events Form is not required to be completed. Making your event accessible to everyone A Surf Club Open Day event should be open to everyone. That means doing all you reasonably can to make it accessible to people with disabilities, the elderly / frail and parents with prams. Many clubhouses now already follow some accessibility guidelines, however try to remember: Set up some reserved disabled parking spaces close to the venue, if there aren t already allocated spots; If you don t have disabled toilet facilities find out where the closest ones are so that you can direct people if need be; If corridors are not wide enough for wheelchairs (at least 800mm) or there are steps to the venue, identify alternative access point for wheelchairs to main event locations; Ensure there is clear signage in highly visible locations pointing people where to go; and Ensure your emergency evacuation plan includes wheelchair users and frail/aged persons. Prepare your resources Prepare and print out the resources necessary to have available on the day to use and/or hand out. This could include Membership Forms, Member Handbook/s, Membership Prices, Member Protection Declaration form, Expression of Interest Flyers/Forms and so on.

6 STEP TWO: Market Your Event It has never been so important to build a positive community profile of your club. The good news is that while it can seem overwhelming, it isn t hard and lots of benefits can be achieved. Below you will find some key pointers on how to increase the conversation surrounding your club s open day: Website checklist Utilise the SLSNSW Surf Club Open Day branding. Ensure the date and time of open day is clearly displayed. Ensure you have the address of the clubhouse / event on your website. Include maps, directions and information about parking. Ensure there is a specific point of contact listed for the event. Social Media Checklist Utilise the SLSNSW Surf Club Open Day branding. Create an event on facebook and keep attendees up-dated on activities leading up to the event. Promote the #slsopenday. Add videos to your social media pages both prior to the event and post-event, to let people know what the event is about. Add photos to your social media pages and/or add them to the SLSNSW Surf Club Open Day event page. Get people talking about your open day Ensure all of your club members are well informed of the Surf Club Open Day so they can help spread the word about the event and are well equipped to answer any questions members of the public may have; Inform your local council that the open day is occurring suggest that they could place the event on their community calendar; Distribute and display posters and flyers to schools, universities, shopping centres, local swimming pools or display in your club house; Utilise the print advertising templates and promote the open day in local newspapers or magazines; Talk to local schools and ask that they feature a short piece in their school newsletter promoting the day; and Invite local schools, community groups, media, dignitary and the neighbours! Get the local press involved Appoint a Media Officer

7 A Media officer is someone who has the designated role of dealing with the media. Make contact with local media Find out who the relevant media contacts are in your area are and make a note of their contact details; Introduce yourself by phone or and find out what types of stories they like and if there are any deadlines; Personalise the SLSNSW Surf Club Open Day media release template and distribute to local media contacts; and Invite the media to contacts to attend your event. Answer press enquiries Answer enquiries punctually and openly, utilising the key media messages distributed by SLSNSW; and Contact the SLSNSW Media and Communications team on if you need any advice. Use photographs It is important to attach great photographs to accompany a press release as it will help in gaining coverage; Invite the Local paper s photographer to attend your event; Photos need to be good quality with plenty of action try to make them interesting or unique; and Make sure your seek permission from parents/guardians when using pictures of children. STEP THREE: Showcase Your Club on the Big Day The day is finally here and you re ready to welcome people to your Surf Life Saving Event. You ll find some quick tips to make sure things get off to the best start. Pre-event Briefing Just before the event, meet with all the volunteers who will be involved in the days activities, and make sure they are all aware of their roles and the schedule for the day. Brief them on any VIPs, and provide them with information about the desired outcomes for the day. Ensure members are in SLS or club attire so that they are easily recognisable to visitors. A Welcoming Environment Ensure your clubhouse or venue looks welcoming put up signs welcoming attendees and inviting them inside, or directing them to activities. Create colour and movement wherever possible so that people feel like there is actually an event on, and that they are welcome to come in and participate. Meet and Greet Everybody likes a personal welcome so make sure members are on hand to welcome the public and show them where to go and what to do. This is often your best opportunity to find out what interests them and what their skills are, and to direct them to appropriate people or activities

8 based on this information. Collecting Information about Your Attendees Whenever you find out some information about one of your guests, record that information. Have the person fill in an expression of interest form, which collects their contact details and areas of interest, and then if you can use the back of the form to make any other notes skills, connections, how they found out about SLS or the Surf Club Open Day. This will enable you to follow up with them after the open day to send more information to them if they did not sign up on the day, and once they join it will provide you with some additional information as to appropriate roles they could be trained up for within the club. VIPs, Press and Photographers If you are having the local mayor attend the event you will need to follow any protocols, be ready to welcome them and generally have someone look after them for their entire visit. The Mayor s office can provide you with any advice about protocols or their requirements. The local press may have been invited prior to the event but it is worth remembering that if this does not guarantee they will attend on the day. It is a good idea to organise a specific person to take photos so that you can submit pictures to the local press for publication after the event. SLSNSW and the Club can also use the images for future marketing material. Thanking Your Volunteers Once the event has wrapped up for the day, give a BIG thank you to all club members involved and conduct a quick debrief to receive their feedback and information on how the day has gone. STEP FOUR: Post Open Day Follow up Well done on a successful event, now what? Next steps. The hard work has been done and it can be tempting to relax! However please just hang in there a little longer. You have created a fantastic profile of your club within the local community and from everyone who turned up on the day; you will have some that want to come back. Evaluation Ensure you set aside some time with you re the volunteers who assisted on the day to reflect upon the event, that way you can assess how successful it was, what was done well and what could be changed for next time. This information can then be fed back to SLSNSW via the evaluation survey that will be made available after the Surf Club Open Day. We kindly ask that the Club Volunteer Coordinator complete the evaluation survey within the required timeframes to ensure the event can continue to improve from year to year. Attendee Follow-up Follow up with the potential members who registered an interest on the day. Use the Response to Expression of Interest letter template to write to them with specific information as requested and include a copy of the Membership Form, and any other club information you wish to send. If you don t have the capacity to follow up, SLSNSW staff would be happy to undertake this task on

9 your behalf. Simply forward the expression of interest forms to the office and we will follow-up with the individuals and provide you with feedback about the outcomes. Forms can be sent to: Att: Alex Mecham Surf Life Saving NSW PO Box 307 Belrose NSW 2085 Or Ensure that the new members who signed up on the Surf Club Open Day are adequately inducted into the club try a group induction session. Further tips for a successful induction can be found in the recruitment and retention guide. Thank Sponsors and VIPs Use the Thank You letter template to send to sponsors and thank them for their donation and support at the open day. Don t forget to include any photos of sponsor activity in the thank you. Write to any VIPs that attended your event and thank them for their attendance and commitment to SLS. Follow-up with Media Send information about the event, including any photographs taken on the day, to the local media outlets. If possible provide them with information about attendance and the number of new members that were generated through the event. Report your Success Take some time out to put a brief report together for your Club s executive / management. While some of them may have been able to be in attendance on the day, others may not have had the opportunity. A short report will give them the opportunity to see how successful the event was, as well as be aware of any recommendations for changes to be made to next year s event. Pat Yourself on the Back!!!!!!!!! A lot of hard work, time and dedication goes into running such an event and so you deserve to reward yourself once it s all over. Know, however, that everything you have done has contributed to a club which is engaged with its community and now hopefully has greater capacity to fulfil its mission of saving lives!

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